Invasive Species Compendium

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Evaluation of the status of the virus and viroid infection in flowering cherry (Prunus yedoensis) collections in Korea and the U.S.


The status of virus and viroid infections in flowering cherry trees (Prunus yedoensis) in prominent ornamental collections in Korea (Seoul, Jinhae, Jeju) and the U.S. (Washington, D.C.) was investigated. A total of 344 trees was tested by conventional RT-PCR for 13 viruses and 2 viroids. Eight viruses were detected in trees sampled from Korea, and the same eight along with two additional viruses were found in trees in U.S. Cherry Virus A (CVA) was detected with the highest incidence in samples from both countries, followed by Little Cherry Virus-2 (LChV-2). This study represents the first report of LChV-2, Plum bark necrosis stem pitting associated virus (PBNSPaV), and American plum line pattern virus (APLPV) in Korea. Almost all (96%) of the cultivated trees were infected with at least one virus, and 73% were infected with 2-6 viruses. Especially interesting was the detection of three viruses (CVA, LChV-2 and/or PBNSPaV) from three different wild trees on Jeju Island. All three infected trees were proximal to cultivated flowering cherry trees that were infected with at least two of these viruses, whereas ten other tested wild trees in more isolated locations were virus-free. It is possible that transmission occurred from the cultivated to the wild trees.